Poland flag Poland: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Poland

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Andrzej Duda (since 6 August 2015)
Prime Minister: Donald Tusk (since 13 December 2023)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2025
Senate: October 2027
Sejm: October 2027
Current Political Context
After eight years of right-wing governments led by the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party (PiS), Donald Tusk, a veteran politician who already served as premier in the past, was sworn in as prime minister in December 2023. Following the October 15 elections, President Andrzej Duda tasked outgoing PM Morawiecki with forming a majority in Parliament, despite his recent electoral setback. Morawiecki, rejected by 266 out of 460 MPs, withdrew, leading to the appointment of a new premier-designate through a subsequent vote (248 in favour, 201 against). Within 24 hours, Tusk outlined his government program and secured majority support with the votes of the coalition parties from the October elections: Civic Coalition (157), Third Way Liberals (65), and the Social Democrats of Lewica (26).
The incoming government is expected to focus on rule of law issues, potentially leading to improved relations with EU institutions and other external partners. In fact, the disagreement with the European Commission regarding the erosion of the rule of law has been casting uncertainty on the disbursement of EU Recovery and Resilience Facility funds. However, in November 2023 the EU Commission gave a positive assessment of Poland's modified recovery and resilience plan, which includes a REPowerEU chapter. The plan is now worth EUR 59.8 billion (34.5 billion in loans and 25.3 billion in grants) and covers 55 reforms and 56 investments.
Main Political Parties
Poland is generally governed by a coalition government. The country's main parties/coalitions are:

- Law & Justice (PiS): centre-right, mildly euro-sceptic and based on a platform of law and order
- Civic Platform (KO): centre-right, stronger electoral performance in northern and western regions
- Poland 2050 (PL2050): founded as a social movement in 2020, centrist
- Polish People's Party (PSL): Christian democratic, centrist, represents farming communities
- New Left (NL): centre-left, formed in 2021 as a merger of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and Spring
- Sovereign Poland (SP): right-wing, formerly known as United Poland
- Left Together (LR): left-wing, socialist, democratic
- Confederation Liberty and Independence: far-right, populist
- Modern: liberal, centrist
- New Hope (NN): right wing.

Other parties represented in the parliament are The Republicans, Polish Initiative, The Greens, Centre for Poland, Kukiz'15, Yes! For Poland, Confederation of the Polish Crown, and AGROuni.
Executive Power
The President is the head of State, elected by universal suffrage for a five year term. The Prime Minister is the head of the government. He is appointed by the President, an appointment which must be confirmed by the lower house of Parliament (as a general rule, he is the leader of the majority party or coalition), for a four-year term of office. The Prime Minister holds the executive power, which includes the enforcement of the law and the management of the country's current affairs. The Council of Ministers is proposed by the Prime Minister and approved by the lower house before being appointed by the President.
Legislative Power
The legislative power in Poland is bi-cameral. Parliament is composed of the Senate (upper house, which has 100 seats and whose members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis, for a four-year term of office) and of the Sejm (lower house, which has 460 seats and whose members are elected by a complex system of proportional representation, for a mandate of four years). The President has the right to veto legislation passed by Parliament, but the latter can supplant him by a majority of two thirds of the Sejm.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
64/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
2/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: February 2024

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